Who's the right agent for you?

Compare, research and shortlist now.

Compare Agents
  • OpenAgent
  • >
  • News
  • >
  • 'Strong results' for spring sellers as quality listings dwindle

'Strong results' for spring sellers as quality listings dwindle

Profile photo of Andy Webb
Written by

Learn more about our editorial guidelines.

Nothing about the property market has been typical over the past two-and-a-half years, and this year's spring selling season is no different. 

As it turns out, sellers could stand to benefit from the current conditions, as buyers look to secure new homes before Christmas in a market severely lacking in quality properties. 

We spoke to three top agents from around Australia about the current spring season, the opportunities for sellers, and what may be around the corner in 2023. 

The market is stabilising after some rocky months

There are a number of indicators that suggest confidence is returning to the market for both buyers and sellers. 

Auction clearance rates have been steadily rising since mid-winter in most cities, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, pointing to a more committed pool of buyers. 

Price declines are now slowing down on the national level and October's more gentle 0.25 per cent rate hike point to a less uncertain future, helping boost sentiment. 

Max Klimenko of Sydney's Ray White Touma Group explained that prices are also being helped out by a lack of stock on the market. 

"Listings have been low this spring, which is a good thing for sellers because it means you're not selling in competition," he said.

Tristan Tomasino, Managing Director at Buxton Inner West, has seen a similar shortage around Melbourne.

"One thing that seems to be holding prices up is the lack of stock available for buyers to choose from. We're down about 30 per cent year-on-year for listings," he said. 

Tristan Tomasino, Managing Director at Melbourne's Buxton Inner West, said listings are well down for this time of year. Source: Supplied

Mr Tomasino added that this is a prime market for upgraders, saying "anyone that's looking to upsize in this market — it's perfect to do that.

"Yes, anyone who's upsizing now may get less on their property, but they're actually going to be ahead when they work out how much they're saving on the property they're moving to."

A-grade properties are achieving top results

During last year's boom, "you could stick a house on the market with a termite nest in the living room and still get it sold," Ray White Nerang's General Manager Brenton Buttigieg quipped.

As the market has shifted, so too have buyers' expectations. Properties considered to be A-grade are still delivering high prices, while poorly maintained or presented homes are falling short and dragging median prices down. 

"We're seeing strong results with the homes that are presented well, ready for people to move in, and fit the general category of family buyer," he said.

With good-quality homes in short supply, buyers are competing over the few properties on the market that tick key boxes and make a strong first impression.

"The fundamentals still stand paramount. Present your property for sale in its most appealing light and make sure that you've done those little presale jobs that reduce the amount of pushback and critique you can get from your buyer," Mr Buttigieg added.

Brenton Buttigieg, General Manager at the Gold Coast's Ray White Nerang, is seeing well-presented properties outperform. Source: Supplied

Mr Klimenko pointed out that it doesn't take a major investment to bring a property up to listing-ready condition. "Add a fresh lick of paint, update the cabinetry, change the bathroom fittings and shower screen — simple things like that make a big difference," he said. 

Those willing to put in the effort are likely to be rewarded, as "buyers are looking for quality right now. A-grade properties in good locations that are well-presented have still been getting strong results."

Ultimately, it's still a good time to be selling — for now

With the market's jitters seeming to have settled somewhat, there could be strong selling opportunities over the coming weeks and months. 

Despite this year's downturn, property values are still up very substantially from pre-Covid, leaving sellers with a major net benefit. 

Price forecasts for 2023 are still pointing to far more of the downturn to come, though, as the impacts of the sudden interest rate hikes are felt in full. 

"To any owners at the moment who are saying I might sit on my hands and wait until it gets back to where it was — I think it's going to be a long, long time before we see the kinds of prices we saw in the last year," Mr Buttigieg said. 

Mr Klimenko agreed, saying "I'd advise to get listing in the first two weeks of January to get the jump on the competition. I think there will be an overflow of buyers from 2022 who will be frustrated and looking to secure a property early in the year."

For those looking to wait the market out, his response was, "wait for what? We know what the market is now and we can capitalise on that. We don't know where it's going to go in the future and we can't control that."

Max Klimenko of Sydney's Ray White Touma Group is urging clients not to gamble on an uncertain market later in 2023. Source: Supplied

Mr Tomasino is also expecting the market to be significantly dampened in the second half of next year, and that waiting to pick a resurgence could be risky. 

"This is my 18th year in real estate and I've never been able to time the market either. You never know when the peak is and you never know when the bottom is," he explained. 

Instead, he's recommending clients move quickly wherever possible, ideally making the most of increased urgency from buyers looking to utilise their pre-approvals before being assessed at higher rates and securing a new home before the holidays.

"Anyone looking to sell and do something real estate-wise in the next 12 months is going to be a lot better off doing it this side of Christmas rather than next year," he said. 

What next steps can sellers take?

For those looking to sell or just considering their options, getting a free online estimate by comparing similar sold properties nearby is an excellent early indicator of the outcome you could achieve. 

Speaking to a top local agent, whether it's for an appraisal, insights into the local market or to dive straight into the selling process, will provide vital information that will help you make an informed decision. 

If your property requires any work, addressing it sooner rather than later will ensure you're well-positioned to list at the moment of your choosing. 

Our free guide to preparing your home for sale will take you through 10 critical steps to presenting your property in the best possible light.